RSS

Tag Archives: Historical fiction

Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs is unlike any other book I’ve ever read. And.. Maisie is unlike any other detective I’ve ever read about. She is the epitome of rising above stereotypes and circumstances, and an inspiration to me. 

The mystery in this first Maisie Dobbs novel is interwoven with a heartachingly told tale of love found and snatched away by the cruelty of war. It tells of Maisie’s early years and how she comes from an impoverished family… and doesn’t let anything stop her or stand in the way of learning everything she can. Her background story is told bit by bit as it fits into the mystery storyline. A voracious reader, hard worker, and loyal friend, Maisie Dobbs uses her uniquely perceptive approach to detective work to solve nontraditional cases. 

This book was my first by Jacqueline Winspear, and I really found it a delight. Rita Barrington was an excellent choice for the reading of the audio book; she occasionally switched accents/dialects in the middle of what someone was saying, which I found a little confusing, but I would listen to more books read by her. 

I would liken this book to a cup of tea. Sweet, but not overly. There’s a lot of hard in this story, but it’s beautiful at the same time. 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Noble Servant, by Melanie DickersonĀ 

The Goose Girl is a lesser-known fairy tale for me, but I have loved The Prince and the Pauper since I was little. The Noble Servant combines the two in a sweet story of friendship, growing love, and courage to do what is right no matter what the cost. 

Melanie Dickerson paints picturesque scenes with her words and creates characters who make you want to cheer them on. This book is no exception. 

Reading the first two books in this series will give you the big picture, but they are each able to stand alone without causing you to not enjoy the story. 

I listened to the audio version, which was read by Jude Mason… she continues to be one of my all time favorite audio book readers. 

I really loved The Noble Servant, and I think I’ll liken it to a chocolate-filled pastry. Something European-esque. šŸ™‚ Just a delightful treat. 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Head in the Clouds, by Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer was a new-to-me writer. She had been on my TBR list for a while, and I chose this particular book of hers to for my first because of a recommendation from a friend. We both love Anne of Green Gables, and this heroine reminded her of Anne.. thus prompting her to recommend it to me!

I really enjoyed the unexpectedness that I found in Head in the Clouds. It included threads of both British and Texan culture, romance, suspense, and fancifulness, all woven into a creative story that kept me guessing. While there were some dark elements and difficult times in this story, overall it was pretty light, and the headstrong heroine, Adelaide, did in fact remind me of Anne too. 

The storyline is a bit complex to summarize without saying too much… but not complex in a confusing way. There’s just so much good story…

Nicole Poole did a great job on this audio book, and I really enjoyed her — except for her voice for Bella.. but honestly, I think it’s got to be difficult trying to mimic a child’s voice for a recording.

I would like to compare this book with jalapeƱo cornbread. Comfort food with some spice. šŸ™‚ 

 
 

Tags: , , ,

A Dangerous Engagement, by Melanie DickersonĀ 

Melanie Dickerson is one of my go-to favorites. She dominates both my Audible library and a good portion of my physical bookshelf. 

I like to think that the heroines in her Recency Spies of London series and those in Jane Austen’s novels would be great friends. I can just picture Lizzy Bennett or Catherine Morland running around with Felicity, Julia, and Leorah, and getting caught up in all sorts of suspense and intrigue. 

A Dangerous Engagement is such a fast-moving book. This whole series keeps me on the edge of my seat in anticipation and… what’s the word?… almost holding my breath, if that gives you a good idea. I sit there reading (or listening), and it’s as if I’m in the room spying with the characters and just waiting for someone to discover what we’re doing. 

This story captured my attention completely, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. It was beautifully written with spunky, fun characters. Anna Parker-Naples did a fabulous job reading it. I always am excited to see her name on an audio book. 

What food best describes this book? Probably a deep, rich chocolate cake. Something that you want to savor yet can’t wait to take another bite. 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

A Viscount’s Proposal, by Melanie DickersonĀ 

Reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice, A Vicount’s Proposal has relatable characters who change and grow over the course of the story. 

Melanie Dickerson never disappoints. Her stories are both imaginative and engaging. With every book I read by her, I find myself wanting to be friends with the characters… and Leorah in A Viscount’s Proposal is no exception. Her headstrong ways, her compassionate heart, and her refusal to conform to aristocratic society’s expectations make her stand out. They make me admire her. 

Following Leorah’s story as she stands up for others and seeks to make a difference in the world around her made me smile. I was on the edge of my seat with the suspense and mysterious happenings.. including attempted murder by an unknown person. 

I enjoyed both the story of this regency era romance and the reading performance of it, as I listened via Audible. Anna Parker-Naples is always entertaining to listen to; her voices make the characters truly come to life in her narrations. 

Although this is book two in The Regency Spies of London series, and reading the first book would give more insight, context, and backstory, each story focuses in on a different character, and they would each be still very much enjoyable on their own. (Just a warning, reading out of order would give you some spoilers though.)

I would compare this mystery to a delightful chocolate cake… one with a surprise filling to go along with the mystery and spy aspect. 

 

Tags: , , , ,

High as the Heavens, by Kate BreslinĀ 

The tension of living in war-torn Belgium and France is very well-captured in this book. A World War 1 story, it covers an era that I don’t know nearly as well as WW2.

High as the Heavens tells us of Eve, a young woman who finds herself in Brussels, caught up in more levels of intrigue and deceit than she even realizes. Due to guilt she carries around with her through each moment of her present life, Eve believes herself unlovable and unforgivable.

Eve unexpectedly recognizes a victim in a plane crash, and the resulting danger in which she finds herself carries Eve and those close to her into some very dark places. This book is a beautiful picture of the hope that can only be found in Jesus. I love how Eve’s heart battle for hope and faith is so very real on these pages. It’s something that’s been difficult for me to read over the course of this summer (resulting in this book taking me much longer to read than it normally would) but so so necessary because of the beautiful hope that is reinforced.

I honestly can’t speak highly enough of Kate Breslin’s work – she may only have three novels in print thus far, but each of these three books is truly a story that will draw you in and make you forget that you’re not right there, going about everyday life with these beloved characters.

I would classify this book as a spicy chai, because of the deeply rich layers of flavor. Please read this book.

I was honored to be on the launch team for this book and received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Canteen Dreams, by Cara Putman

This Pearl Harbor era story by Cara Putman captured the fear and uncertainty that came with news of the attack. It painted a good picture of the patriotism, enthusiasm, courage, and even jealousy of those on the home front. I found myself contemplating aspects of the war that I hadn’t thought as much about prior to listening to this book… so I felt like I learned from it. 

Canteen Dreams was a sweet romance amid the turmoil of the war. While I found it predictable, this story was still enjoyable… although honestly, through most of the book I found myself wanting to slap Willard. He was kind of jerkish and self-absorbed. 

If you want a war time story but still want a light book, this would be a good option. I’d compare it with whipped cream in a can… airy and sweet, and you know what you’re getting. 

Laural Merlington did a good job with the recording – she struck me as sounding like a woman looking back at the war, telling the story.

 

Tags: , , ,